Geek. Nerd. Four-Eyes. These stereotypes and more have long haunted gifted and smart kids, who seem especially prone to bullying (one researcher notes that about 67% of gifted kids have reported being bullied at some time). They’re far from alone in their experiences, however, and can play the role of bully just as easily as victim. That’s why the Department of Education’s new ad campaign to help raise awareness of bullying seems particularly valuable.
The ad campaign, which begins in October, features print, television, and web ads that encourage parents to teach their kids to speak up when they experience or witness bullying. Focused on bullying at school, the ads aim to help parents understand the negative messages their children might encounter.
Taking the campaign further, the government site StopBullying.gov includes a kids’ section with videos and games that can be used to teach kids about bullying and a free webinar on August 15 on cyberbullying.
In addition, parents and teachers can check out Choose Kind, a new antibullying campaign inspired by R. J. Palacio's book Wonder, which features a young boy living with a facial deformity and his experiences as he starts attending school for the first time in fifth grade. The campaign’s site allows kids to sign a pledge against bullying and share their stories of being “the bully, the bullied, or the bystander”—great solutions for helping kids take charge of their own actions and emotions.